Who are victims of stalking?
Anyone can be stalked, including College students from any economic, ethnic, or religious group. A few victims are picked at random by their stalker, but most stalking victims know their stalker, usually having had some type of present or past relationship.
The perpetrator can be an intimate partner or former partner, classmate, roommate, or other acquaintance. A victim can be stalked for several days or for many years. The stalker's actions can also affect family, friends, and coworkers. Stalking and criminal harassment can be difficult to distinguish.
How do you know if it's stalking?
- "Every time I went to my Political Science class, this guy would sit next to me. He kept trying to talk to me even though I told him I wasn't interested. Then he started showing up everywhere-outside my residence hall, in the Campus Center, even in the library, and threatening me if I don't go out with him. Am I being paranoid?"
- "I dated this woman a couple of times but then wasn't interested in seeing her again. She said someone would get hurt if I broke up with her. "If I can't have you, no one else can," she told me. We weren't in contact for a while, but now she keeps sending me e-mails. Sometimes I don't answer her. I changed my address but she found out what the new one was. I wish she would stop."
- "Two weeks ago someone left me an anonymous "secret admirer" note in the library in one of my books while I was studying. Last week I was studying in the campus center and got up to stretch. When I came back, I found a cup of coffee with a note, "I am always watching you." This morning there were flowers outside my room. My friends don't know who is doing this and it feels creepy!"
The absence of a threat means that this last example does not meet the legal definition of stalking. However it might have the same impact. If you or someone you know is experiencing a similar situation, please get help by contacting Campus Safety.
If you feel frightened or uncomfortable about someone's specific behavior, pay attention to your instincts! Seek help.
What can a stalking victim do?
- Report the stalking to the Emmanuel College Campus Safety
- Inform others close to you (family, friends, residential life staff, co-workers) about the stalking.
- Do your best to safely avoid all contact with the stalker.
- Keep a journal or log of all incidents connected to the stalking.
- Keep any letters, packages, taped telephone messages, or e-mails received from the stalker.
- Provide Campus Safety with photographs, a description, and other information on the subject.
- Inform the Office of the Dean of Students and learn about other options including a Stay Away Order/Campus Contract, safe housing and privacy requests at the College.
Stay Away Orders/Campus Contacts
There are several types of restraining orders that can be obtained through Campus Safety.
- A restraining order (209A) is a court order issued by a judge that requires your past or present boyfriend, girlfriend, roommate, or blood relative to stop abusing you or face criminal penalties. There are a number of requirements that need to be met in order for a victim to apply for a criminal restraining order.
- A civil stay away order is a type of restraining order, available to someone who is being abused or stalked by a non-partner/roommate/relative.
Please call the Emmanuel College Campus Safety Department at 617-735-9710 for more information about either order.